Carp River Conservation Area
The Carp River Restoration Project has utterly transformed a four kilometre section of the Carp River near the Canadian Tire Centre in suburban Kanata. In addition to realigning the river channel and restoring adjacent wetlands, the project entailed planting thousands of native trees, shrubs, plants and grasses to support biodiversity and a welcoming habitat for wildlife.
The Carp River Conservation Area lies in the area of the restoration north of the Queensway. Within the Conservation Area, MVCA is developing a “living classroom”, a wetland discovery and education experience for site visitors and schools. The living classroom will evolve and add features over time, starting with interpretive signs along the pathway and projects for citizen science. Plans are underway for an educational mobile app and on-site learning for schools.
A paved, four kilometre “Riverwalk” loop has been created.
The Carp River and its riparian wetlands immediately north and south of the Queensway were functioning poorly: shallow, silt-filled, and unwelcoming to fish and other wildlife. Watershed management agencies, city planners and citizen groups committed to biodiversity conservation long understood that the Carp River presented an exceptional opportunity for restoration and recreation within a suburban setting. River and wetland rehabilitation would reintroduce native species, attract wildlife and provide ecoservices such as absorbing and cleaning storm water runoff. The site also would offer a natural area that could be used for physical and mental well-being, and for outdoor education — all on the doorstep of more than a million National Capital Region residents.
Restoration construction began in 2016 and was completed in 2018. Work continues near the site on the Campeau Drive Extension and on the Arcadia housing development.
Consider this new conservation area as a gateway to nature; connecting the community to the pulsing vitality of riparian shorelines: wading birds, pollinators and wildflowers, basking turtles, river otters, and the seasonal rhythm of migrating birds.
The path is unfinished at its east end, because construction on this portion of the site is not complete. In 2020/2021 the Campeau Drive extension across the river will be built and the path loop’s east end will then be connected to provide 4 kilometres for walking, cycling and winter pedestrian recreation. Until then, approximately 2 kilometres of the path is currently available along the habitat pond and on the north (Terry Fox). The section at the east end is not available due to construction of the Campeau Drive Extension. The south side pathway is also closed due to construction related to the Arcadia subdivision.
Please note there is no parking or washrooms available. Visitors can park at Insmill Park and walk a short distance to the site.
Help bring the living classroom to life by donating to the Mississippi Valley Conservation Foundation. Just a $10 donation will grow the Carp River Conservation Area to help reach its full potential.